Gio’ Ponti and Richard Ginori: ten years of intensive cooperation

Lately we often think of Milan, its history, its historic buildings and its streets, so known as the palm of the hand until a year and a half ago and now, with a faded memory. Distance leads us to forget or simply we don't want to remember something we love and that, for one or another reason, we cannot live closely.
The characteristic of Milan is its concentric structure made of rings which, through the gates, road openings made at various times in the Roman, medieval and Spanish city walls, lead us to the square that we all know. The writer, before packing up and moving to South East Asia, has lived 10 minutes far from Porta Venezia, built along the Spanish ramparts, which stands in front of a historic building, the Rasini Tower, designed by one of the most famous architects of the time and history: Gio 'Ponti
But, what do we know about Gio 'Ponti? Those who have visited Milan will certainly have seen, once you get off the train at the Central Station, the famous Pirelli Skyscraper or, taking a tour in one of the green lungs of the city (Parco Sempione), the Torre Branca (or Torre Littoria) ... all works by Gio 'Ponti!

Pirelli Skyscraper : headquarter of the Government of Lombardia Region


What many people do not know is that, in his long career, Ponti worked as artistic director of Richard Ginori for 10 years (from 1923 to 1933) and today the brand is celebrating his creations and unforgettable collections in an exhibition.
Ponti's role was fundamental. His intuition, at the time when the advent of the manufacturing industry had dealt a strong blow to the world of craftsmanship, was to move the idea of the unique handmade piece towards a production of equal artistic quality, but to be reproduced in series.

Gio' Ponti


The Master is responsible of introducing highly innovative elements with sensitivity and respect for the taste for antiquity and oriental culture. In 1925 at the Universal Exhibition in Paris, the Manufacture and its artistic director were both awarded with a Grand Prix.

Ponti, throughout his stay, not only took care of the creative aspects but the entire production including the coordinated processes for the launch of the industrial product, the advertisements and the graphics of the catalogs. With the same spirit between "enthusiasm and detachment", for Richard Ginori he promoted the first catalog of Modern Art Ceramics, designed its advertising in Domus [editor's note: Domus is an architecture and design magazine, founded by Gio Ponti and the Barnabite father Giovanni Semeria in the 1920s] and brought the historic brand to the great exhibitions of the time. Its aim was to make the "taste" of the new accessible to as many people as possible. And this is how he presented the “Domus Nova” furniture line at the Monza Biennale in 1927, sold at Rinascente Department Stores and targeted for the average modern family.

Gio’ Ponti “Domus nova” – coffee table

Among the artistic creations signed by Ponti that we can still buy today (but at a very high price) we can find the wall plates with the Le mie donne, Venatoria, Conversazione Classica and Prospettica decorations. But let's take a closer look at the history and peculiarities of these historical pieces.


Le Mie Donne represents the first family of decorations designed by Gio Ponti. The aim is to propose a style suited to Parisian taste, on the occasion of the 1925 Exposition Nationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Paris. The series consists of three compositions: Women on the clouds, Women on the strings and Women on flowers . Among these, the women in the clouds were the first to be conceived and presented in the form of samples at the Monza exhibition in 1923. Since then, remaining faithful to the Pontian representation, Ginori proposes them again with the variant of the vase hand painted by the masters of the Pittoria.

Venatoria [editor's note: Venatoria: related to hunting], on the other hand, was designed to be developed mainly on majolica. Its narrative theme is composed of deer hunting scenes conducted by Amazons. The scenes depicted on the plates have their own sequence so that the chasing of the prey leads to the transport of the same, after chasing it. The theme, inspired by scenes from antiquity with Amazons intent on hunting or fighting, but more frequently having the goddess Diana as the protagonist, found particular participation in Art Deco. Richard Ginori's version has been re-proposed on porcelain [1]

Prospettica: here we can admire one of the Master's most famous vases that reveal his training as an architect.


For those who love the art of the 20s and 30s of the last century and want to have lunch with it every day, we cannot fail to mention the Catene or Labirinto collections that still today we can have on our tables in the available colors: sapphire, scarlet, emerald and black. Or the series of Floral, Triumphal or Golden Hands, timeless decorative objects that will not only furnish your homes with elegance and style, but will also bring with them a small piece of art history.


Porcelain Hand with flowers - Gio' Ponti

Catene collection at Rosewood Hotel


And it is precisely in this way, with a "Catene" table setting with a retro taste and classic lines, that we end our story about the life of Gio 'Ponti and Richard Ginori.
Someone once said that art is the only symbol of the passage of man on earth and maybe, in a certain sense, it's true. Thanks to art, architecture and design we can get to know our past in depth, relive emotions and understand the history of a country, a city and, of course, an object.

See you next time with a funny GROUP interview!!


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